When we had our first baby things changed. Everything changed for the better. We changed our living habits and our diets to something closer to nature. I suppose as a keen gardener it was just a natural progression in our life spurred on by that precious little bundle of ours.
Of course with our change came the revival of our shared life long dream of acerage ownership. I had always dreamed of being a homestead mum and Earth Angel Daddy had always longed to return to the land after being dragged to the city to live out his adolescence.
We looked around for 3 months before finding the 'perfect' property for us. A 90 acre property in a fairly rural area. Just enough for us and our dreams. A complete blank canvas for us to start with, no power or water supplied just bare land with 30 acres of natural bush on it and 150 acres nature reserve next door.
After organising a builder and purchasing the property we packed all our belongings and spent our last $700 on a 15ft derilect caravan.
Just after H's first birthday we started our journey to self sufficiency.
We arrived to find our storage shed had not been delivered as promised and our furniture sat outside our caravan exposed to the 10 year record rains that bucketed down for a week straight. Needless to say we lost pretty much everything we owned. Oh well, another blank canvas to start with. What couldn't be recycled or op shop salvaged went to the tip.
The first weeks we cooked on fire in the rain and blistering wind. I built a little oven from spare bricks we had brought with us to recycle. Every morning I rugged up in 2 pairs of tracky pants, 2 jumpers and a big warm jacket, went out and stoked up a little fire to cook brekky with. 2 years later and that jacket still smells of fire smoke. Eventually we were able to fill a borrowed gas bottle for $30 while we saved the $90 needed to buy a 40kg gas bottle.
When our water tank arrived and was filled by truck, it was such a blessing to only have to carry water up the hill a couple hundred metres instead of collecting only 50lt water from family and town visits. We still didn't have a bathroom, but now had enough water to share a bucket wash in the evenings. When our house was finished I was so thankful to have a real bathroom and kitchen.
After a few months we made friends with neighbours 20km down the road who lent us a generator, which we glady used when we could afford the extra petrol. The generator would run just long enough to watch a dvd and read a book in the caravan lights. This also meant that on the odd occassion I could cook dinner later at night without worrying about being able to see.
After 6 months western power built a power line to our property border and we had power! Such a blessing we seem to take for granted until we lose it.
In 2 years we have had a simple shed house built by completely incompetant builders, filled it with free or extremely cheap furniture, built 3 raised garden beds and many low level garden beds. We have built a chook pen, planted a fruit orchard, many native trees and shrubs and started building a fenced paddock intended for dairy cows. Just the other day we finally installed a real kitchen that we bought secondhand. No more internal door on legs as my kitchen bench! I now have a real benchtop and cupboard space... WOOHOO!! *Doing Hayley's Happy Dance*
Our plans include raising crops, chooks, cows, goats, pigs, sheep, bees, rabbits and ducks for our food, meat, dairy and clothing or bartering needs. We dream to be as self sufficient as is possible here. What we can't grow or make we hope to barter with our excess goods.
It doesn't feel like much has been done but when we look back over the photos we realise that with no money and hardly any free time at home beween kids and EADaddy's work.... WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH and we wouldn't have it any other way.
This journey has taught us many lessons and given us the opportunity to appreciate every aspect of our lives. There is so muchmore to be done and I can't wait to see what lessons are in store for our family.